All Posts in “Community”

Five Commandments For Those New To Bitcoin

Given the year Bitcoin has had, it’s no surprise there’s been a whole lot more interest since it first started. Eight years ago, no one even really knew what cryptocurrency was. You can’t avoid someone mentioning Bitcoin at the pub or dare we say it, your family’s annual Christmas BBQ.

So, if you’ve just decided to jump on the bitcoin bandwagon, welcome – it’s great you’ve finally seen the light. Now sit tight and pay attention before you pay to play.

‘Double GST’ No More

Many in the Australian digital currency ecosystem were pleasantly surprised when in this year’s Budget the Australian Treasurer announced an effective date for the removal of ‘double GST’ on digital currency transactions. Effective 1 July 2017, the purchase of digital currency will no longer be subject to Australian GST. In effect, this will result in digital currency being given the same GST treatment as money.

However, more importantly, this would make Australia only the second country (the first being Japan) in the world to make actual amendments to their tax laws to accommodate digital currencies.

Brave Browser Review

Brave logo

 

Brave is an adventurous attempt at a new web browser, one which focuses on rethinking the overall advertising model of the internet. As of October 2016, Google’s Chrome browser continues to be the most popular choice with over half (63%) the usage share of all browsers. Although Chrome is freeware (as is Brave), it is developed by Google which derives the majority of its revenue from advertising. Some think this may lead to conflicts of interest when it comes to privacy and security.

Brave proposes a new model for internet browsing, one where users pay for their time online to remove ads and fund sites.

The team behind Brave is no less impressive than their mission. The browser is developed by Brave Software, the CEO of which, Brendan Eich, co-founded Mozilla, the company responsible for Firefox. Among other accolades, Eich is also the creator of the JavaScript programming language.

One Year of CoinJar Swipe

It’s been exactly one year since every Australian business started accepting Bitcoin with CoinJar Swipe, our Bitcoin-enabled debit card. One year out, CoinJar Swipe continues to be an innovative product, changing the way we look at and perform payments.

Since its official launch 12-months ago, we’ve seen $1,051,479.97 spent on about 1,000 debit cards in circulation! We’re thrilled to break the million-dollar mark and hope all our users have enjoyed the experience as much as we’ve enjoyed creating a seamless digital currency app and card.

Using a sample size of anonymised transaction data over the last three months, grocery shopping comes out on top at 35%.

CoinJar Swipe Debit Card Spending Statistic

 

Feedback & Updates After 12 Months

  • Daily Limits
    Many users have asked us to increase the limit of the Swipe cards as many items come in above the $500 limit making it hard to buy that new TV or gaming rig with your CoinJar Swipe. We’re pleased to announce we will be doubling the CoinJar Swipe daily limit to $999.00 effective immediately.
  • Multi-currency and online usage of Swipe
    We’ve also had feedback that users want to use their Swipe card overseas and for purchases on the internet. Presently CoinJar Swipe runs on the EFTPOS network which is accepted at 950,000 payment terminals in Australia, however isn’t available online. This is something that’s being worked on and we’re keen to release a multi-currency card that can be used anywhere in the world.

    CoinJar Swipe Reload

    CoinJar Swipe Auto-Reload

  • Auto top-up & PIN Recovery
    A handy feature when you want to keep your card ready for spending, the auto-reload feature automatically tops up your Swipe when it falls below a specified balance. And if you’re forgetting your PIN all the time, we’ve got you covered with easy recovery.


Ordering a CoinJar Swipe

There has never been a better time to own a CoinJar Swipe debit card. If you’re receiving international payments for invoices, everyday spending, or want to be or just as a great backup – here’s how you can get your very own CoinJar Swipe.

  • To order, there is a one time fee of $29.
  • To be eligible for CoinJar Swipe, you must be a verified CoinJar user.
  • Not verified? Visit our identity verification portal.
  • Once ordered, your card will be delivered within 7-10 business days.
  • For more detailed information visit support.

Log-into your account now to get your CoinJar Swipe.

Order CoinJar Swipe

The best bitcoin I’ve ever spent

I’ve bought a lot of stuff with bitcoin. Coffee, groceries, clothes… all very necessary but also quite ordinary. Last week, I signed up for a membership at Hubud, a co-working space in Bali and I paid for it with bitcoin. It was honestly the best bitcoin purchase I’ve ever made.

Why? The membership was priced in $USD, but since I was paying with bitcoin, I didn’t need to bother with the conversion fees. It was also instant, so my spot was confirmed immediately, instead of having to wait 3 days for my money to go through. It was also just awesome using bitcoin in an international transfer, because it worked so smoothly.

But the real reason was because I was just so productive at Hubud. Remote work is something I’ve never done before, so I was a little skeptical of how much work I’d get done, but it was worth it. I’m no digital nomad, and I was only there for a week but the change of scenery is refreshing from the big city life.

Several others from the CoinJar Team have visited Hubud before and here’s our top 8 reasons why you should too.

Bamboo is commonly used in Bali for its strength and sustainability as a building material. It’s a nice touch.
  1. No shoes
    Before you even step into the co-working space, you’re invited to leave your shoes at the door. Even though this may make you a little uncomfortable at first, it does lend to the comfortable, warm and welcoming vibe Hubud has.
  2. Better for your health
    Bali is hot and humid, and Hubud is an open-air working space. If you’re accustomed to climate controlled offices, prepare to sweat and embrace the natural fresh air. It’s a good reset for the body. And when you just can’t hack it, there’s an air-conditioned room.
  3. Convenience food
    There is a healthy organic cafe in Hubud with a salad bar, juices, smoothies, desserts and coffee. When it’s right next to you and so well-priced, healthy food choices are that much easier to make. Bali is known for its raw vegan and natural food offerings, and the cafe is Hubud is no exception. I highly recommend the two litre bottle of watermelon and lime juice and the coconut bliss balls.
  4. Insane global networking
    The people in Hubud are truly one of a kind. From Silicon Valley to Berlin, the members are all passionate professionals working on interesting projects. There are freelancers, entrepreneurs, career-shifters, startup owners, creative professionals, NGO workers, writers… It’s a networking haven, without the pretentiousness and awkward moments.
  5. The vibe
    Bali is a spiritual place, whether you’re at a tourist attraction, in a shop or at a co-working space. The vibe is calm, peaceful and other-worldly. It takes about a day or two to adjust to it, but it is seriously relaxing and quiet. And the view’s not too bad either.
  6. Visit monkeys during your lunch break
    I am not kidding, I didn’t believe it myself. Hubud is right next to the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary, a big hit with tourists. If anyone pesters you about going overseas to work remote, you can tell them you’re going to Bali to hang out with a bunch of monkeys.
  7. Perspective
    It’s travel, work and play all in one trip. Enough said.
  8. Hubud accepts bitcoin
    And it makes a lot of sense for them. In fact, during my visit, I met several business owners in Bali who were looking into accepting bitcoin. When I asked Hubud’s co-founders Peter and Steve about why they accept bitcoin, their answer makes it very clear why.

“Our members operate and work transnationally and any way that they can pay for things easily and with low/no fees is huge for them and therefore us! One of our members, Gary, started the Bitcoin movement in Bali and we host Bitcoin Filter meet-up every Tuesday at Hubud.”

The need for bitcoin is most prevalent to me when I travel. The fees I pay for my traditional banking cards are exorbitant and I wish I didn’t have to rely on something that’s failed me so many times before. Especially for an island like Bali that attracts thousands of tourists a month, bitcoin just makes sense. Use cases like Hubud are prime examples of how powerful a global currency with instant and practically free transactions can be.

Still don’t get it? Read more on how bitcoin will change the unbanked economies, paying with bitcoin and accepting bitcoin as a business.

The outdoor seating area faces rice paddies


Article by Zhoe Low— Communications Strategist at CoinJar. Tweet her @zhoelow

Photos by Carol Da Riva available here under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0.

A bitcoin night out with Tatiana Moroz

When Tatiana dropped by Melbourne for The Bitcoin Address in November, it was a great excuse for a girls’ night out – but with bitcoin!

I met Tatiana right outside Grumpy’s Green, a charming, bitcoin-friendly pub familiar to the local Melbourne music scene. She bounces out of her cab with a cheery smile, laughs about her public transport mishap and settles in for the night out to explore Melbourne with us.

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While we browsed the secondhand bookstores and thrift shops along Brunswick Street, I chatted to Tatiana about her experience as an international singer/songwriter and a bitcoin advocate in the New York artist community. It’s clear how passionate she is about cryptocurrency and what it means for musicians. It’s not a surprise, after all, she started the very first musical artist coin – Tatiana Coin – which owners can use to exclusively access Tatiana’s music, memorabilia, merchandise and gigs.

“It’s about being innovative use of the blockchain. Bitcoin can do so much for everyone, but for artists, there are so many opportunities. I know that bitcoin has some really solid support and interest in the community, but I also know that just like in the states, there will be plenty of people who don’t know about it yet!  In between hiking, swimming, and checking out the sites, I hope to have many opportunities to share how bitcoin has improved so many lives around the wall and is a truly international phenomena. “

For Tatiana, music is a powerful platform to communicate the power of bitcoin to people because it’s a universal language. And for this very same reason, she wrote the ‘Bitcoin Jingle’, a song about why she started using bitcoin. My favourite line from the song reveals Tatiana’s strong anti-war stance in her bitcoin campaign, ‘I didn’t want to give any of my money to a nation based on war. I wanted to be free, nothing holding me back from where I want to go.’

“The ‘Bitcoin Jingle’ started out as a way to sell a concept but the more that I became familiar with how this technology could impact society, the more it inspired my creative spirit.”

We had Tatiana perform and sing the ‘Bitcoin Jingle’ for The Bitcoin Address Melbourne and Sydney and it was a hit! When Sam (our Marketing Lead) and I were organising #TBA14, we wanted it to be special, and it was important that we used different forms of communication, and Tatiana really took it home for us. More on the event here, including bitcoin expert Andreas M. Antonopoulos’ address on the potential of the blockchain and what it means for the unbanked.


Tatiana at The Bitcoin Address with bitcoin law expert, Pamela Morgan. 

I used my CoinJar Swipe for most of the night and it was especially helpful once we started moving around. Tatiana thought it was incredibly useful because it allowed anyone to spend bitcoin anywhere that accepts EFTPOS. She was using the Airbitz App and while Melbourne does have its fair share of bitcoin-accepting businesses, the Swipe card made it much easier to live a bitcoin-lifestyle. She wanted one straightaway! I am counting down the days till Swipe is available to the public.

We covered a lot of ground in our girls’ night out, from our backgrounds, our travelling adventures to being women in tech. Tatiana formed part of our speaker dream team for The Bitcoin Address, but she was also great company while we were on the road.

If you have any questions for Tatiana, follow her on Twitter at @queentatianaofoz.

20141121_5637Setting Tatiana up with a CoinJar account

20141121_5672Paying for our drinks at Grumpy’s Green…

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That right there, is gelato bought with bitcoin!

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Showing off my Swipe card to Tatiana! And right before we had a lengthy discussion with our cab driver about bitcoin. It was fun to have someone to partake in my bitcoin rant with me!

20141124_1206Thank you to our dream speaker team for The Bitcoin Address – Tatiana (and her guitar with QR code!), Pamela Morgan and Andreas M. Antonopoulos. It was the Australian bitcoin community’s highlight event of the year! 

Puppies vs Computers

This Christmas season, we’re asking you to choose between man’s best friend, and man’s best invention.

PvC Main Poster

The Puppies vs Computers Christmas donation drive started because of the CoinJar team’s passion for supporting non-profit organisations. We tend to be a very opinionated and outspoken bunch here, so we’re putting that energy to good use by supporting two of our favourite Australian non-profits, PetRescue and Electronic Frontiers Australia.

Now, a bit about the contenders. 

PetRescue is an Australia-wide non-profit organisation and Australia’s most visited charity website. They bring pet seekers face-to-furry-face with thousands of rescue pets from shelters and rescue groups nationwide. They save over 6,000 lives every month and since launching, they’ve rehomed over 250,000 pets.

Electronic Frontiers Australia has been Australia’s leading voice for digital rights since 1994. They’re independent of government and commerce and rely on membership subscriptions and donations to operate. They campaign for your right to digital privacy by writing submissions, meeting with Federal MPs and Senators, and lobbying.

Take your pick.

Get in the bitcoin-giving spirit and donate! It’s a little cheeky but there’s nothing like a bit of friendly competition, especially for the causes these non-profits campaign for.

Using CoinJar, send any amount using CoinJar usernames: @PetRescue or @EFA_Oz.

If you use another wallet just use the QR code or their bitcoin address:
PetRescue: 1PSQVYYw4NSxM68A1vuKzXsx2tfLKdpRH5
Electronic Frontiers Australia: 1MtfvcxToHDyqGzoR2Nve1rfkAPCdBv1oC

If you’re making a Dogecoin donation:
PetRescue:  AD9hPdDJV37iGEmPCrRHjXZjdeVagx1UNV
Electronic Frontiers Australia: A8HJomFTopw8u9cXmcGq55uoq2s6nkuqsG
*Addresses are multisig, so they start with ‘A’ instead of ‘D’.

On Boxing Day, we will check the balances, and the group with most donations will get a bitcoin bonus from CoinJar.

Pick a side and tell us who you’re getting behind on Twitter using #pupcomp and be sure to share this around to support these causes.

We’ll be providing regular updates on the tally through Twitter and Facebook. Get your friends involved and contribute to animal welfare and digital privacy rights with bitcoin this festive season.

Our Australian Senate Inquiry submission

On 28 November, we made a submission to the Australian Senate Economics References Committee for the Inquiry into an appropriate framework for digital currencies.

In our submission, we asked the Senate to endeavour to consider the following points in drawing up legislation and recommendations:

  • the unique advantages of digital currencies
  • being competitive and pragmatic in regulatory expectations
  • focusing on the players, not the protocol
  • being unambiguous and committed.

“For many of the big regulatory questions around digital currencies, the easiest way to provide clarity may be to treat them in the same manner as foreign currencies…This would offer the quickest route to extending robust protection to consumers and merchants currently using digital currencies.”

We presented expected industry impact to the payments, retail and banking industry, including:

  • competitive pressure
  • changing consumer expectations
  • an increasingly global market
  • improved financial inclusion
  • market diversification.

“A properly nurtured ecosystem of digital currency companies could create a range of credible small-to-medium financial providers, making the sector (banking) overall more competitive and resilient.”

In our concluding paragraphs, we ask the Australian government to support and defend the technology and finance sectors with integration with the global economy, fulfilling Australia’s potential as a financial technology leader.

“The Australian market on its own is simply too small to support local champions with no international presence, such players will always be vulnerable to competition from players in much larger Asian markets.”

“So while right now we may struggle to imagine why people would want to make everyday payments to people on the other side of the planet, things will look very different once such a facility is actually available.”

If you have a moment, read the submission in full here.

Thank you for your support as we expand internationally to offer you a better global service.

Andreas M. Antonopoulos at The Bitcoin Address

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We were lucky enough to host international speakers Andreas M. Antonopoulos, Pamela Morgan and Tatiana Moroz at Australia’s largest Bitcoin meetup for 2014, The Bitcoin Address.

The free and open-to-public event ran over two days in two cities, with over 370 attendees and thousands of livestream viewers worldwide. A key highlight of #TBA14 was a live Q&A platform, allowing anyone to ask a question to our speakers, as voted by global technological consensus.

In under 24 hours, The Bitcoin Address ‘sold out’, with people travelling all around the country for a chance to hear Bitcoin expert Andreas M. Antonopoulos speak. The local Australian Bitcoin community banded together to host a series of events around the visit, including a smart contracts Q&A, Bitcoin 101 sessions and an afterparty at Sydney’s Metropolitan Hotel (bitcoin-friendly, of course).

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Andreas spoke about different topics across the two days. In Melbourne, he inspired the audience with his discussion on the revolutionary impacts of Bitcoin in unbanked economies and broken marketplaces. He also shared his personal experiences, his discovery of Bitcoin and the importance of developing user-friendly technology that interface with Bitcoin.

In Sydney, Andreas provided valuable insights on the technical side of some of the more advanced features of the blockchain, and inspired the audience on the potential of its technology. Specifically, he delved into the new features being added to the blockchain such as nLockTime, smart contracts, multi-sig technology, consumer protection features and the danger of early regulation.

US singer-songwriter Tatiana Moroz was also a popular favourite, performing the “Bitcoin Jingle”. She shared about how she discovered a movement that aligned with her personal values and how she has used cryptocurrency to help monetize her music.  Bitcoin law and smart contracts expert Pamela Morgan also explained how the blockchain can be used to facilitate and automate complex legal transactions.

The Bitcoin Address was a chance for us to give back to the Australian community. Our customers are an integral part of our growth and this was a way for us to say thank you. It has been quite a year for Bitcoin, and we’ve been quietly reinventing CoinJar,  building products for the future of consumer finance.

By far our favourite event for the year, The Bitcoin Address was a whirlwind of incredible and inspiring discourse, beers, sushi and laughs. We can’t wait for the next one.

For more Bitcoin news and events, subscribe to our newsletter, or follow us on Twitter or Facebook.

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Ask Andreas M. Antonopoulos a question at The Bitcoin Address

Wherever you are in the world, we’d like to invite you to join the global bitcoin conversation with international guru Andreas M. Antonopoulos through livestream and Twitter #TBA14.

Andreas will be a key speaker for The Bitcoin Address, a free, open-to-public Australian meetup event in Melbourne and Sydney during 24-25 November. He will be joined by Pamela Morgan, bitcoin law expert and Principal of Empowered Law, and Tatiana Moroz, US-based musician and bitcoin entrepreneur.

The Bitcoin Address was completely booked out within 24 hours of opening to the public, with over 370 attendees registering to rally with the Australian bitcoin community and hear from bitcoin’s brightest.

When is the livestream?

We’ll be livestreaming The Bitcoin Address in Sydney at 6pm (AEDT/GMT+11) on 25 November 2014, with Andreas speaking at 8.30pm(AEDT/GMT+11) .  Find out when that is in your local time here.

How do I participate?

Watch the livestream here. Follow us on Twitter or Facebook, where we’ll also be publishing real-time updates.

We’ll be hosting #TBA14 Q&A using the sli.do platform. You’ll be able to ask a question anonymously or using your name. The sli.do question stream will be displayed live at the event, and participants can vote up or down for their favourite question. You can also ask a question on Twitter using #TBA14, which will feed into the sli.do platform as well.

If you can’t join us live, a video recording will be available online after the event.

We’re looking forward to hosting the first Bitcoin Address meetup with Andreas, an incredible bitcoin advocate.

Don’t miss out and join the global bitcoin conversation on #TBA14!